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Book: I Am a Mute Iraqi with a Voice by Weam Namou

Book: I Am a Mute Iraqi with a Voice by Weam Namou

categories: Book, Iraqi Americans, Chaldeans, Cultural Identity, Cultural Acclimation, Iraq War, Poetry

Weam Namou

Author Weam Namouabout this book: When I had my first child nine years ago, I thought I would have to give up writing until she started preschool. I had by then written three novels and, given the demands of motherhood, I knew I could not easily formulate on paper a dozen sentences, let alone a 300 page manuscript. Then one day, while my daughter was taking her nap, I sat on the couch with a pen and paper and wrote a story through a poem. This was not my first poem.

I wrote my first poem in 2001 when I attended the Prague Summer Seminar that was sponsored by the University of New Orleans. Before that, poetry was as foreign to me as Baghdad is to westerners. Studying a new form of writing in such a structurally beautiful and strikingly colorful city proved to be quite natural. I would grab a coffee and croissant every morning from a local café, head to Charles University, founded in 1348, and sit in a classroom taught by American poet Anne Marie Macari. I listened to poetry readings by the late, renowned Czech author Arnost Lustig and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine.

I enjoyed plenty of goulash, strolls down Charles Bridge, and walks on park trails lined with pear trees. The experience in Prague filled me with a love for poetry, but I did not start writing poems again until six years later, when I became a mother. My creativity found an outlet through this language and my soul collected joy as I placed literature on paper in between cooking a curry stew or while cartoons held my children's attention. Within a poem, I discovered I could share an intimacy with literature without the pressure and length of time that a novel required. It was like enjoying a meal with a loved one. You give those moments your time and energy and then each one goes their separate way. With a novel, you feel attached at the hip for a year or two.

Over the next ten years, I managed to return to writing 300-plus-page manuscripts, memoirs this time. But my love for poetry has always remained, leading me to get published in national and international journals such as World Literature Today. I Am a Mute Iraqi with a Voice is a collection of 73 poems I have written.

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Other books by Weam Namou

The War Generation (Iraqi Americans Book 1) by Weam Namou
The Feminine Art by Weam Namou
The Mismatched Braid by Weam Namou
The Flavor of Cultures by Weam Namou

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   • Book Review: The War Generation (Iraqi Americans Book 1) by Weam Namou
   • Book Review: The Flavor of Cultures by Weam Namou

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